“And we created a hybrid,” by Julia on D’s chair

Monday August 27, 2018
1:38am
5 minutes
Poetry Is The Song Of The People
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Altogether in the forest
I remember us walking in a line linked like breakfast sausages
It wasn’t cold or I had on a good coat, I can’t exactly recall. But Illiah was wearing a red rope around his neck with a hangy medalian. a piece of wood with a stamp on it maybe.
and as we gathered around the mother tree, Jara started to sing and we all started to sing too. as if we knew the song. as if our bones were already in tune.I remember feeling like warm water was being poured over my head, cascading down and blanketing my spirit. I never wanted to leave. I never wanted to wake up.

“freckles on thighs and in-between.” By Sasha on the 17

Tuesday February 13, 2018
9:43pm
5 minutes
Teachable Moment, 1986
Kellee Ngan

My finger traces the freckles on her thighs and
in between the places there are no windows
there is no bright.

Red jacket and long johns and beeswax on the sheets
and white sage and kettle singing and cat curled at our feet
and Marvin Gaye record spinning and spinning

Muck out to the pottery studio
out beyond the outhouse.
The reassurance of snow.
The dependability of sun breaking through cloud cover after weeks.

Drinking black coffee out of chipped pottery.
Eating honey by the spoonful.
Keeping warm by the space heater.

Hands learning a new language
your hair dirty and perfect
turning grey.

“what he learned about fire” by Julia at her desk


Monday, October 19, 2015
10:01pm
5 minutes
from dramaturgical notes

The rads in our new place don’t work. Red has been trying to get them to function for the last two weeks. Every 5 minutes he checks to see if heat is coming, adjusting the only two knobs on the thing when it doesn’t. “Can you feel anything now?” He’d shout at me, a painful hope stinging the air. “Still nothing.” I’d say back as I wrap a blanket around my feet and another one around my shoulders. “Stupid fucking thing.” I’d hear Red mumble. “stupid stupid fucking thing.” The only way we find some warmth is when we’re using the stove. It’s hard to get it started but I’ve never looked so forward to roasted potatoes in my life. We dragged the little kitchen bench over to the sink so we can sit next to the stove and stop tensing our muscles for once. We can’t leave the thing on all day cause we can’t afford it. We find solace there, holding our hands out to the stove door like two little kids warming their frozen limbs by the fireplace after a long day of riding on a float in the Santa Claus Parade.

“heated rivalry and the jealousy” by Sasha in the Fredrick Wood Theatre


Friday February 6, 2015
9:35pm
5 minutes
http://www.mtv.ca

Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?

Warmer here but colder too, in the damp way.
In the down to your bones and souls way.
Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?

The crows know how to stay warm.
They caw with full bird breath.
They caw the warmth from the inside out.
Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?

Mama run me a bath and don’t let me out.
Don’t drain the water til it’s morning.
I won’t drown, I won’t fall asleep,
I’m thinking about the Spring.
I’m thinking about the Spring.
Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?

“Pure Life” by Julia in the car


Thursday July 31, 2014
8:44pm
5 minutes
the nestle water bottle

She was PURE LIFE. PURE JOY. I held her for the first time and I DIED. I MELTED. I wanted to stay seated on that wicker rocking chair that didn’t rock anymore FOREVER. FOR HER. She was honestly the best moment of my life. She was PURE LOVE. PURE HAPPINESS. I wanted to build a bubble of warmth and love around her fuzzy little head and hold her until she was too big to want that. That way I could pour all of my undying love into her bubble and feed her with is so she would know how special and worth it and truly unequivocally loved she was. This little thing without opinions of the world yet, without the sadness, the jaded crispiness that comes from getting left behind, or getting told you’re ugly, or getting felt up by a stranger at a sleazy hot dog stand one stupid night in Sacramento. This little thing without pain, and without anger, and without wanting so much that the world seems so unwilling to give. I would have shown her that all she needed to do was sleep there and giggle sometimes and hold my finger. I would have loved her the way I needed to be loved.

“WIN $2000” by Julia on the 504 going east


Tuesday January 28, 2014
4:00pm
5 minutes
from a Loblaws receipt

And I would buy so many thermal things, seriously you don't even know. I would spend the $500 on a winter coat that I was denying myself before because it seemed just effing ridiculous if I couldn't even afford to pay my phone bill. I would get the warmest boots money can buy. They would be toasty and stylish. That is the dream. I would buy those hand warmer things and wear them daily and I wouldn't care about the environment because clearly the environment doesn't care about me. It would be a war on the elements and I would be a warrior for warmer temperatures, fighting only for my extremities and my facial features that can't be protected without looking like an extreme bank robber. And with the rest of the money I'd spend it on taxies so I would never have to wait in the cold for a stupid transit system to be 15 minutes later than it says it's going to be and I would be happy. And after saying all that I realize I could JUST LEAVE THIS CITY!! $2000 can get me that right??

“That’s the point.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday January 27, 2014
7:11pm
5 minutes
The Grid Toronto, January 23-30, 2014

If you were to teach me how to knit, you might realize that I have the patience of a toddler. You wouldn’t be as impressed as you are by the words I know. I would drop stitches and curse in ways you thought only truck drivers and prostitutes knew how. You and I, feet tucked under our bottoms, cradled by the couches soft cushions, the hum of the radiator coo-ing us towards stillness, knitting needles clinking together, our balls of wool somehow, magically, not becoming tangled together. When I finally have something to call something, a tiny square without too many holes, you look exceptionally proud. I say, “it’s so slow!” You say, “that’s the point.”

“I’ll be here with you” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday January 7, 2014
11:22am
5 minutes
Let’s Ride Into The Sunset Together
Don Burnam


Oh this will be nice, a picnic on an ice rink. Surely nobody’s ever done that and we’re just the types to be the first! UH! I love that stuff. We’ll bring sleeping bags and heated hand pouches so we don’t go crazy, but it will be so beautiful we won’t even notice how cold it is! I’m sure of all these things. Can’t not work, you know, if we’re together. The sun will set and we’ll be drinking hot chocolate from a thermos. I have a photographer in mind. She really loves the cold, and loves being the first at things too. So she’ll get bundled, and take our pictures like a magazine spread. That’s my ultimate goal in this. I would not mind getting a bit of publicity out of this. And we’ll just look so in love that everyone will want us to be on the cover of their publications. I really know that this will work. We need to find a doggie to run around or curl up with us. It has to look like as cozy as it would if we were at home and sitting by the fire place. But at the end of the day, we’ll have each other to keep us warm. We’ll lay in bed when we’ve exhausted the sunlight, and we’ll use our body heat to restore any lost feelings in our extremities.

“We’ve been expecting you” by Julia on the Greyhound


Friday December 6, 2013
9:00am
5 minutes
a Welcome To Toronto lamp post sign

Take off your winter sadness and leave it by the door. We don’t need that here. We don’t need that here. There’s a fire to warm your hands and a Italian mama’s lasagna to warm your soul. A reminder of the good old days. Of the ones where we were carefree and moved by every heart hugging melody that crept into our ears. Come in come in. We have extra slippers for your toes and cups of hot apple cider brewing. We’ve been expecting you for some time. Wondering which snow fall would bring you back to us. Wondering which moment to put on the kettle so we’d be ready ready. There are little ones in their beds who tried to stay up late just to see you. They’ll be happy to know you got in safe. They’ve been worried about you. Trying to decide what kind of finger paintings would be most useful to you. They did a variety just in case you were hard to please. You’re not though, are you? Because you’re home.

“Peace at Christmas” by Julia at her parents’ kitchen table


Monday, December 24, 2012
12:30am
5 minutes
a line from a Christmas Card

Came in from the cold, crying and damp. Said to all of us, Merry Christmas, this is it. Told each and everyone of us we were loved. Waited till the drops fell from her coat and formed a perfect puddle in the shape of sadness on the linoleum. She was talking to all of us and none of us. She was making the rounds with a glass of mulled wine in her hand and a handkerchief in her other. Told us it was just hard, that’s all. Told us not to worry because it would pass, nothing to be concerned about. We hugged her, all of us, each one tighter than the next. We spoke softly to her like we would to a child. We smiled in a way that meant we cared but that we also hated to see her that way. She was shivering now, not from the frost, but from the memories. Started talking like him and asking us questions with his accent. It was sweet, we were touched, but then one by one we all got there. We all became sad. We bundled around one another with tight arms and we sang. Silent night. Holy night. All is calm. It was her favourite one. His too. Wished us all a Happy Easter. We laughed. We knew what she meant and so did she. She laughed the loudest, the puddle of sadness slowly drying up with the heat of our collective love around her. Happy Easter! She said again.

“cupcake” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday, November 29, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
7:19pm
5 minutes
The Lawblaws ad
on the back of NOW Magazine


I am dreaming of you in lace and leopard print. You’re jumping from a tall building and you’re sprinkling your carefree glitter over all of us.
I miss you so much it hurts and when I think of your face, it’s lit with a halo or something, keeping it warm, warming my hands. I dream of you almost every night and you’re wearing this beautiful scarf that twinkles when you dance. You are always soft and you are always smiling at me through your eyes. I see you in the face of the sunset, in the face of a laughing toddler. I see you as if you were designed to lead me through life and keep me safe. I see you in everything that’s beautiful. Your legs, your arms.
I miss you so much it hurts.
You’re the thing that keeps me wanting. That keeps me wanting to want. That keeps me in search of pretty and wonderful.
To talk to you feels like a cupcake temptation when I’m off of sweets for the month. I’m trying not to go back to my old ways but it’s not easy because you make it look so good.
I almost did it yesterday. I was closer to the sky. I was closer to anything than I’ve ever been.